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414. Sometimes an aorist not referring to past time is found in the apodosis, after a protasis in the imperfect referring to the present. This occurs chiefly in Plato, and generally with εἶπον ἄν, ἀπεκρινάμην ἄν, or a similar verb, meaning I should at once reply. The aorist excludes the idea of duration which the imperfect would express, and for the same reason it cannot be strictly present; in effect it does not differ much from an aorist optative with ἄν, the apodosis really being the result (in the case supposed) would be (ἦν ἄν) that I should reply (εἴποιμι ἄν), etc. E.g. Εἰ μὲν οὖν σύ με ἠρώτας τι τῶν νῦν δὴ, εἶπον ἂν, κ.τ.λ., if then you were asking me any one of the questions before us, I should (at once) say, etc. PLAT. Euthyph. 12D Ὥσπερ ἂν εἰ ἐτύγχανεν ὢν ὑποδημάτων δημιουργὸς, ἀπεκρίνατο ἂν δή πού σοι ὅτι σκυτοτόμος, as, if he chanced to be a maker of shoes, he would answer that he was a cobbler. Gorg. 447D. See also Symp. 199D, Men. 72B, Theag. 123B; ANT. Tetr. A. b. 13. In PLAT. Prot. 311 B, C, we have εἴ τίς σε ἤρετο, τί ἂν ἀπεκρίνω; with the answer εἶπον ἂν ὡς, κ.τ.λ., twice, referring to present time; but in D,εἰ οὖν τις ἡμᾶς ἔροιτο” (future), followed by τί ἂν αὐτῷ ἀποκριναίμεθα;

An example of this is found in SOPH. Ant. 755: εἰ μὴ πατὴρ ἦσθ̓, εἶπον ἄν σ᾽ οὐκ εὖ φρονεῖν, if you were not my father, I should say you were not right in mind. See EUR. Alc. 125, ἦλθεν ἄν, i.e. (the result would be that) she would return. So Alc. 360.

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